Ep. 158 – Lisa Baue

You’ll die trying contain sensitive subject matter and conversation surrounding death and dying and may not be suitable for all audiences listener discretion is respectfully advised.

quick announcement before we dive in to this episode of you’ll die trying. Yes, a season.

Like in life, seasons change and

things happen. And season two is coming to an end. But that’s okay. Because we have

Thanksgiving and Christmas and the New Year and new resolutions and new things that are starting all the time, like a big announcement of me getting ready to purchase two new locations and of course, me right this second. In Baltimore, Maryland. NFDA. The NFDA convention shaken hands high five, and

I mean, really? That’s what’s going on here. Yes. Season two is coming to a close soon, but not yet. And speaking of Be sure to

stream some of that music. Yes, this guy me right here the guy with two thumbs pointing out himself that you can’t see unless you follow me on Tik Tok and eighth Morris music and this video. And yes, check me out wherever it is you stream your music, whether it’s Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon music, Google music, make whatever music Okay, now you’ve been warned.

Nothing like a good swift kick in the gut. To reset, three start.

I think

I know.

In chaos, you have two options, you can lie down, find a rock, maybe Cover yourself up with some nice leaves get cozy, because you’re gonna sit in it, you’re going to sulk, you’re gonna feel sorry for yourself. And you’re not going to do anything to get better to get out have to progress to proceed to move that ball forward to move the needle. Whatever the analogy. You can just lie or you can fight. And you can persevere I received an email the other day, it basically said all of these things that I need to work on not just things that I’m doing wrong and period. That’s it, it’s constructive.

And a part of this email really stood out and continues to resonate in my brain. It’s

saying and I’m paraphrasing, it says this email and how you respond will determine the kind of man and the leader you are.

One that makes excuses. Or one that gets busy acknowledging fault, accepting a moment of failure, but persevering and that is what I’ve done.

I refuse to settle I refuse. I refuse to lose. And I refuse to not continue to grow as a human as a business person.

It was an amazing life lesson probably arguably one of the most painful to be honest. But nonetheless, here we are. And we are together, you and myself at season two 158 of your day trying this is a show, which pulls back the curtain

takes down the walls, brick by brick and exposes the true hearts of those who are caring for those who love most even the most vulnerable and

painful. I mean, no one that calls us wants to hear about my tough email or no one I work with who’s been up all night wants to hear about it. They just want to know that I support them and I do and actions speak louder than this podcast.

We’ll talk about that.

Each and every episode of you’ll die trying is brought to you exclusively by our friends at Big turkeyfoot coffee. Yes, the men and women behind that delicious brown brew the roasters with the most authors head over to right now Nathan Morris grab you some swag like I said I’m away to Baltimore. I want to see somebody Nathan Morris. T listening to Nathan Morris on there. You know the air pods or whatever pods or headphones cans they have, whether it’s music, or whether it’s this podcast, I would love it can High Five knuckle bump is a fist bump. Jesper

up, I don’t know one of the bumps. That’d be neat.

And our friends at EFF, who I will be seeing at NFDA this year in Baltimore, workers working tirelessly on the back end to take insurance assigning proceeds to cover the balance do so on the front end, the most important and that thing is not looming over the heads of the family who are just wanting to gather, celebrate, create a meaningful celebration with the funeral director.

Because that’s most important. Again, visit Express funeral To learn how Express can benefit and bless your funeral home as you bless the families that we all serve.

Announcements, announcements, announcements. I received an email not too long ago and I was taken aback. You know you

have clout and clout is established by being knowledgeable. I mean, not just being knowledgeable, but being captivating, right being thought provoking a thought leader, my friend, Jared says a thought leader in a space where, hey, this is what I believe. And I’m going to forge this path. And along the way in forging you, you create this movement because people are like, I really like what you’re saying, I like what you’re doing. And they look up to they look toward for advice.

It’s amazing that this email happened and it’s Lisa baue, Lisa Valley operated a very successful Funeral Home operation. Her and her family, serving 1000s of families, bereaved families a year because 1000s and 1000s of people entrusted her to care for them during the darkest nights.

And Lisa did all this during a time when funeral service wasn’t so much

a woman’s world it was arguably more so man driven and

this woman and individual has, like I said in the beginning, she chose to fight and push forward and not lie there with leaves covering her keeping her warm.

Lisa is now the funeral coach Lisa has taken all of the knowledge she has acquired over the years the decades of care and

as devoted her life now to progressing this profession. Educating.

It’s amazing. And we had a really beautiful conversation. Because that email I received.

Lisa wanted to sit and talk. And so talk we did. She’s brilliant. She’s elegant, she’s lovely.

She is a true pioneer in this profession.

And the cloud thing, right yours.

The cloud thing is an earned thing.

You know, you can have a tenure, you can have years of experience. But if you cannot have people walking along

close to you in that path you forge then I wouldn’t say you have cloud I would just say that you’ve done a lot of maneuvering and noisemaking I don’t know I mean, argue with me if you wish. But Cloud is something that whenever people say funeral profession or consultant or funeral coach they think of Lisa Bowery and Lisa boughey.

Mr. Bow we thought to talk to me

and encourage me and

this is how

the Silva story went.

A show which pulls back the curtains, takes down the walls brick by brick and exposes the true hearts of those caring for those you love most.

We are here today with a fellow funeral director, a fellow podcaster. And not a fellow musician, so I don’t sing well. But Nathan Morris. We are so glad to have you on our podcast of your Kindle coach talks. You’re part of our leadership series and this is pretty exciting.

because you are the first millennial owner that we interviewed so far, and you’re really growing yourself, your business, your podcast series, and your music as well. So let’s talk and hear more from Nathan and about Nathan, tell us about yourself. How’d you get started in this business?

Thank you for that introduction. That’s amazing. I think I’m going to just let you travel around with me. And anytime I introduce myself, I say this is Mrs. Lisa Bowery and she’s going to introduce, there we go. I I got started in this because I saw a pretty girl.

Home for my birthday. Yes, I lived in North Carolina working on a new record came home from my birthday. My brothers forced me to go out we were out having dinner and drinks and this brunette walks by and I thought she was pretty. She didn’t know who I was. And the former me was this selfish

person. And I went up and spoke to her and the rest is literally history. We became best friends. Her father, my late father in law. He had been working at Halo McGinnis funeral home for 60 years. 50 at the time, wow. That’s a long time. I thought 42 years. For me, it was a long time. But that’s that’s cool. 50 year 50. Plus, that’s awesome. It’s wild. And you know, my perception of funeral service. Growing up as a little boy was the man in the suit. Right. And here we are with, which is ironic, because here we stand 10 years, 11 years later. And most of my family are females in suits and dresses, and I love it, but that’s what attracted me. That’s, that’s cool. So a girl attracted you. And now most of your funeral directors are all female. I love that. Congratulations on that, by the way. My daughter as well. at Bally’s. We we left a long legacy of wonderful females and men are great too. So let’s not you know, let’s not go backwards there. But we we know that women are coming into our profession more and more frequently. So that pretty girl’s name is Meg. Megan married her really made a name. Yes, we married we have four boys. Oh, wonderful. Seven, three and one were absolutely those people. Yes. It’s wild. It’s it is wild. I have three grandsons. And I don’t know how my my son is now a stay at home dad, and by purpose and design. So his wife could have an opportunity to go back to her career and work for a while, which your generation is doing so well. And I think that’s cool. I don’t know how you guys do the work life balance thing with you and Megan, but that’s a whole nother topic for another day. So you start you met her in 210 to something and then asked her dad for a job. How’d that go?

April the third we met June 26. That was my first day on May the 13th. I went to his office and I said I want a job and he said, Son, you’re out of your damn mind. You know nothing about the funeral service. And I said I will be the best employee you’ve ever had. And I sat in his office for four hours until he gave me an opportunity. And you did not ask to marry his daughter yet. That came later.

That came that came later. And the answer and response when I asked his for his blessing was quite similar. He said no. He said no. He turned you down. Yeah, he said, You’re not You’re not ready. You’re not. You’re not established enough. And I said with all due respect. Are you ever ready enough? And are you ever established? And wow. So you kept going? How’d you get him to say yes.

Well, that response I think answered the question for him because it’s true. Doesn’t matter how little or how much, or how little you know, or how much you know, you’re never where you want to be right? You’re always want to keep learning. That’s good. Good to hear. So that’s a good sign of a leader to keep learning. Okay, so then you go to mortuary school, you went to Arapahoe Community College out in out in Denver, and it did Megan go with you guys married then.

She know.

Maybe we weren’t married to Tom just kind of connects. We actually did virtual learning and then I would fly back and forth from Alaska. That’s wonderful. And which was awesome to do that. And then we were engaged to be married. That’s correct. And I finished mortuary school. I took took like a year to finish that. So I just did it concurrently. Good for you, man. I was serving an apprenticeship simultaneously good for you. So you can do that. And you did it in Kentucky? Correct. You could do it whenever I went school, then they took it away. But now you can do it again. Oh, that’s good. And it was awesome. I encouraged isn’t it? Awesome. Now you can take the classes online and you can do an apprenticeship and internship and all those things. This is this is so much needed by our profession. Agreed. So then what happened? So somehow you became a president and CEO of 10 funeral homes, so this doesn’t happen by accident. How’d you get there?

I am perpetually coming up with ideas. I’m good.

It’s a it’s a blessing and a curse to be so sensitive to my surroundings. Ever since I was a little guy I always have known who not to be close around to and who to draw nearer toward. And I would pay close attention to those entering the funeral home, I don’t come from the funeral profession. So I have a sensitivity to people entering you can.

The Funeral Home has to be a welcoming environment, it has to be an inclusive environment, it has to be non threatening. We were missing the mark and all these instances and in 2013, I had started in 2010. But 2013 I really was like, Okay, we’re, we’re striking out heavily and striking out. So you mean, expanding? Right? striking out, like, strike out, like, Oh, you’re not making it? No, no, no, no, no, no, we are not striking out to go to new adventures, but you were failing. No. failing. We were absolutely stagnant. And those are very tough conversations and admissions to make when you’re in business, especially a business that’s been around since 1902 1909. thing? Yes. So I would go to my father in law’s office. And I’m like, we need to do this, this, this, this and this, and obviously had no leg to stand on. What do I know, right? I’m just the dumb apprentice. And in my father in law’s defense, he didn’t, he didn’t say that. But it took a lot of trust building, right. So I would pay close attention. Implementing in 2016, the 10 second rule, and that you have to be you have to be welcomed, you have to be greeted within 10 seconds, because people take 10 seconds to develop, what a first perception of you the first impression of you. So the open door policy, open hand policy, all these different things, the changing of the guard these these seasoned funeral directors that were getting grumpy and should have retired 10 years, 15 years prior. I mean, that’s a real thing. Our website was built in night, whenever the World Wide Web first had come out. There’s a lot of websites out there still like that, Nathan, it’s so sad it is. It’s so bad. I know. Those are things I’m like, we need to do this, we need to do this. So I realized that you have to, you know, to eat an elephant one bite at a time. So we went from the premier location. And then in our community, we were the, you know, we were the smallest firm. So we just started with our people. And we traded culture, we recreated culture, because culture happens I love so I became obsessed. I became obsessed with people, the right people. And pretty quickly those people that weren’t the right, people were jumping to kind of weed themselves out, don’t they? So putting the right people in the right seat of the bus, but you purposely went out to find the right people. Now funeral service is really having some tough times right now finding and recruiting. And I saw, I think it was an ad or something that you put in looking for new people. And I was very impressed with that ad. So how do you find the right people and get the right people on the seat of the bus? This job ad was something about you’re looking for a good human. I thought that was very cool. The way you said that. They must be articulate and speech and writing strong communication skills.

You have to like

Tell us about that calm. Tell us about the workspace. How many times and you you’ve been doing this longer than I and you probably have had these scenarios, maybe not because you run a very tight ship, you get to the back of the coach. And then all the directors are standing in there almost like who’s going on the funeral. And so it’s, you know, someone stumbles into the vehicle to drive it. And there’s this organization is not existent communication is subpar. That that all creates a sense of frustration. And who’s up next, you can drive the hearse now, right? It’s the weirdest thing. And I was I was like, why are we like, why are we doing it like this, this is not working. Obviously, everyone’s just getting mad, and not enjoying the job. So we created these opportunities in workspaces where there’s communication throughout literally within our 10 rooftops, I could look on or workspace and see who’s going out what funeral at what time how many cars are taking, and all of that in real time. It can update populate if I love to get multiple desk. It’s it’s real. So to find the right people, believe it or not, I mean, a lot of our people have not been in the funeral profession before. That’s great. How do you find them? You find them around town. You sent him off to mortuary school, give us some tips and of the trade of as you as a leader have grown this business to 1010 rooftops and you’re finding the right people and they’re highly skilled. I mean, your ad says creative, assertive individual willing to learn works well in cooperation with others is longing for community involvement. So you’re looking for specific kinds of people. I love it. They have to meet the Morris family’s dress and grooming standards.

That’s good. And you’re a very well dressed young man. I’ve

seeing pictures of hearing much. I have my my ties a little loose today. I I remember the first one, the first one we hired outside of the funeral profession. Christine, who actually today just got promoted to manager of our flagship Haley McGinnis funeral. Yeah, Christine, very big deal. Because I just, yes, that was the first location that I managed. And then we pass. Yes. So you’re replacing yourself. I replaced myself I fired myself and replaced with Christine who we found at a juice bar, a juice bar, and you liked the way she was serving juice. She was warm and friendly. She warm and friendly, communicative. She made the drink exceptionally well. She was detail oriented. It was a scurvy blasters, what it’s called, and the way in which she took out each ingredient to create it. And it wasn’t just step by step, which now is seen with her arranging a funeral. It’s not just arranging the flowers. It’s not just scheduling with chapel, there is intentionality behind it. And that resonated, we went one day, Megan is said, this girl is a rock star. And we went back a second day. And we’re like, Hey, you’re a rock star, we want you to come and work with us. And she said, I’ve always wanted to be forensic pathologist. I see. So the worlds kind of aligned already with what her passions were, she has this nurturing ability, because she worked at a church and she worked in the children’s, you know, the children’s service. It just, it was divine, and how it worked out. And I can give you story after story about that. Finding people, Crystal who oversees our monuments, and who oversees a lot of our pre need and our cemetery care. She came from the newspaper. She was from the newspaper world and sold ads, like advertisements and space. And she had, you know, she had companies that she would call on, I met some really good pretty people that came to us that I recruited when they were trying to sell me ads. I get that. So do you help pay them pay their way through mortuary school? How do you get them licensed and get them up and running? In your company? Do they just come work for you? You pay him a salary? And then you send them you send them online to school? How’s it work? Tell us how you we’ve now we recruit? Now you get them in there? What do you do? Yep, for the longest time, my father in law, the old school is like, Hey, I had to earn my way. So I’m paying you have to pay your way. I’m not that’s not a mock thing. That’s more like a very discipline. I get it. That was that generation. Yeah, I get it. Yeah. And I honor that and admire that, because I don’t want handouts. And there’s something beautiful about earning my own what surely, we have we had brought on Christine, and then there are others who we have begun to invest in. Right. That’s, that’s an investment that they’re making for their lives. And so we’ve we’ve hired them on full time, we’ve offset expenses, we’ve we’ve funded some some schooling for these individuals. And because we want to show them, hey, you know, let’s grow old together. That’s whenever we bring on a new team member. That’s, that is my signature way of signing off on a welcome note is I say, let’s grow old together. Love that. And that’s, that’s what I really believe. And it’s not lip service. And so we’re obsessed about investing in people that are committing their lives, right, not to us, but to work alongside us. This is very true. I love how you said that. Well, it’s like a marriage. It’s like a family. It’s like bringing people into your family and supporting them while they’re there while they’re growing up. So very cool. Good for you. Good for you. So how is the funeral home business changed from when you first started to where it is today? And and by change? I mean, what do you think are the positive things that you’ve done, that funeral home owners and business managers and people can learn from you?

I am receptive to ideas open you’re open to like what’s been done. It’s always been done this way is the worst thing that’s happened to our profession. We’ve done it this way for forever, which doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s just changes inevitable. Let’s embrace it and our profession has a hard time with change. I think introducing welcoming technology the way that I have and have implemented it competent company wide has created

free time, time, time that we don’t seem to have a lot of you know, that’s that’s actually one of the most important things for all these, these new newcomers to this profession. They want they want time. Some on our team are driven by money. And they love money and bonus opportunities, right performance opportunities, where they can bonus based upon their prefer, like incentives for serving a family. Well. Yep, so you have all that in mind.

have all that most people however want time? Yeah, they want time. So how do you how do you give them more time? Nathan? Do you do paid time off? Obviously vacations.

You know, get it free afternoon off if you hit certain goals. How do you tell us how you help your people? Especially in my guesses, a lot of them are millennials that you’re growing some millennials coming out of school soon. And how do you give them that time and balance it with being a 20 477 days a week, nights, holidays? Weekends?

I say, I know that that is important to you. How about you create and suggest ways to to create more time, whether it be a schedule update, whether that be some new idea. Also our workspace the workflows? Critical, Pivotal, right? You’re sitting there with your huge pile of paperwork post arrangement? Well, the way it’s always been done is that funeral director orders of all ignores the flowers and does this doesn’t take a license to do that does it? Know who you are, Makayla, and you are an incredible Rockstar first impressions. And I know you’re already sitting at the computer and you’re very organized and detail oriented. So here’s all the paperwork that I need your assistance with. Here you are mica here is the care center preparation sheet. It’s all digitized anyway, everybody’s communicating via digital workspaces. Boom, it’s done in 20 minutes instead of three hours that just saved you two hours and 40 minutes. What are we gonna do for the next two hours? 40 minutes. That’s real. That is real. It’s real. That is real. So higher efficiencies, allow your people to give you input and get rid of paper?

Yes, yes. Stop killing trees. That was one of my goals. I wanted to stop killing trees by 2030. That was my goal. Yeah, man, we are. Absolutely. We’ve cut our paper in half per arrangement. Good. Yep. ABS absolutely proud of that. Yep. Very good. So when you’re when your staff makes comments, go ahead. I didn’t mean to speak. Oh, just take time is you can’t replenish. You cannot. There’s no more. I can’t get it back today. This day. Never. Yes. So you have to be mindful of that. We need to get out of the mindset of this is a 24 hour day job. Yes, yes, it is. Are you open on weekends, all weekend long?

If we have no families to serve, then no, you close the doors? The answer, if you put a little sign outside, call us at this number. If you need help for immediate for immediate assistance, please contact us at this number. Right. So directors are on call. So if a family shows up at the front door and the doors locked now, here’s old school saying we can’t do that we have to be open 20 24/7. Right. So new school says, you know, here’s a phone number. Just give us a call and we’ll we’ll get a hold of you. And we’ll we’ll take care of you right away.

That’s what we do we have a we have a sign on the door. Does the staff come in to see that family? Or do they arrange an appointment for the next day?


we we educate our team to take the pulse and what’s our title funeral director right? So that we’re readily available for you and your family. We’re so honored. You’re standing on our porch right now, we have paperwork that we want to make sure is available is 10 o’clock tomorrow, more comfortable or is one o’clock tomorrow afternoon more comfortable, please let me know. And then you just when you make suggested schedules that you already know you have those two appointment times open. I love it. It’s their idea. The end you don’t have to drop everything. Again time and rush to the funeral home frustrated, annoyed. You know, we’re human beings. So we’re not gonna always be just so chipper. Yay, let’s go arrange a funeral at 622 in the evening.

It didn’t there done that educated. My dad kept this open till 10 o’clock. And by the time we were done with visitation back when we had lots of visitations. I had 100 flowers, I had to clip cards and write descriptions on the back. And then I got to move the flowers into the chapel, and do a hopeful setup. And then about 11 o’clock, a family wanted 500 More prayer cards that we printed by hand, one at a time on an old machine. I didn’t get home till 1230 and then had to be up the next morning and in the office at eight.

That right ridiculous the tail end it was we were on the tail end of that. Thank goodness. Thank goodness I didn’t have to I’m glad to hear that. So you closed on weekends on holidays to holidays? Nope. We’ll talk to you on the phone give you love and care, but our staff quality and the quality of our staff lives is more important. Because if you don’t take care of your staff, then you’re going to lose your good people, right, that you just recruited.

How can you take how can we expect our staff to take care of the people if we’re not taking care of us? I totally agree with that. There’s been a study through the American Board of funeral service education that came out of the mortuary schools a couple of years ago and I hope he will get a new one soon. But they’re showing that 50% of the mortuary graduates are not staying in the profession after five years.

But the majority of them back then it was 60%. Now it’s up to 70% are women. So what do you do to help the girls?

They’re gonna have babies, they’re gonna get married. I’ve heard previous generations and some of the most genders men say, Well, I don’t want hire a woman because she gets pregnant. And then she gets menopause when she gets older. And then she wants time off for the babies. How do you how do you help with that?

I’ve heard I’ve heard all of that, which is crazy, crazy crazy to say, because I’m 37

why we celebrate life and memories and moments and what more captures that than a newborn baby? Yeah, new life new memories new moments. Megan had for so who am I to say? How dare you ladies have staff to go and have babies? Welcome them and let them have their time with their child. You know, actually, believe it or not, most people are gonna want to get off FMLA and come back to work, get that baby to a babysitter, you know, encourage it. I had a playpen in my office for my second.

After my dad died, I was able to bring my baby in. And my assistant was like, Do you mind watching her real quick while I go downstairs and see a family? I was I was you know, pumping on the job and stored in the freezer. And the guys thought I was nuts. But I was like, Well, I want to nurse my baby. But I also want to be a funeral director. So there is a way to balance that and you have to be a supportive employer to allow those things. Can they bring the kids into work if they need to?

Yeah, sure. What feels more loving than walking into a funeral home and seeing a newborn baby? Exactly. That’s beautiful. That’s amazing. I used to put my little one on a stack in the front of me. And I’d walk in and see a family.

And they loved it loved it. They said, Oh my gosh, thank you for coming. It’s just because you’re there to give them comfort. I love that. What you’re doing all the great things. Now let’s talk about a little bit your podcast. So tell us about you’ll die trying? When did you start it? Why did you do it? How is it helping your business?

started a few years ago, and Dr. Carolina and myself, we did a season one together where we would just you know, it was a communication conversation between the therapist and a funeral director. And what happens and what came of that was just funny and, and raw. And then we took some time off. And I wasn’t even going to continue Dr. Carroll as as Chief Operating Officer of Morris family in his own private practice. He is slammed with caring for these families and following up and walking alongside them in their grief journey. So he’s like, if you want to keep going with this, that is absolutely great. And I’m going to cheer you on from the stance. He, he did not want to take away time from these families, which to Shay, you know, kudos to him for doing that. And then mica who’s a new team member of ours. She was like, you need to do the podcast. And I’m like, dang it Micah, you know, because at the same time, I realized that we needed to pull back the curtain. Yes. Because you know, what happens behind the door doesn’t have to be scary, gross, creepy or secret. I agree. And so that’s how it happened. And it’s just every, every week, it’s either a story of a family we’ve served, whether it be the three children who were killed in the fire, or the response, in my view from the Uvalde shooting, and all those children in the community that’s grieving, but also the funeral directors that are tasked and then the story of the tulip. You know, why do we have a tulip who who wants to wear a funeral home merch and actually the intentionality of everything that we do as funeral directors and just showing people you know, the true hearts it says, you know, a show which pulls back the curtain tears down the walls, brick by brick and exposes the hearts of those who are caring for those you love. And that’s, that’s what my goal is. That’s why I do it every week. It’s fun. It’s therapy for me to just sit and write the script out and then I you know, just and then you talk kind of go with it. Yeah, I’ve listened to a couple of your podcasts are very well done. And you just can’t sometimes you’re thinking while you’re speaking I can tell I can hear you thinking while you’re speaking. But you also you make it you can make it interesting. And you just talk to people I love it. It’s perfect. meeting people where they are is very important. Extremely I follow Gary Vee a lot Gary Vee he’s, he has a potty mouth, but he has a brilliant mind and he has made a lot of he’s made a lot of hey, you need to be doing this and it comes to fruition like tick tock for instance, funeral directors on tick tock, what are you doing on tick tock? This is such a sacred thing you know, and he says if you’re not on it on Tick Tock 80% of you’re gonna leave this room and not ever do it. But I’m telling you, you need to meet people on tick tock, you need to meet people everywhere. So that’s what the goal is with the podcast. However many people listened, whether it’s hundreds or 1000s meet them where they are on their walk or on their run or at the dinner table. It’s important to meet them where they are. So we do in the funeral. Perfect. I agree. I agree. You’re doing a great job. You’re everywhere. Thank you. So you promised your

Father in law

before he died, and he died this last May, right? We’re in it for those listeners that are re listening to this years from now. We’re in 2022. So this is kind of post pandemic, and you went through this with your father in law. Who was your boss? wife’s dad. Right. The one you had to stand up against. That had to be really hard for you to bury a family member at your young age? Yes, very much. Yeah. You can’t you can’t be the you can’t be the family and the funeral. You cannot. You have to be wondering, you cannot. It’s really hard. You have to step back. So you promised him three things, you would win the pursuit of excellence for NFDA. That’s happened two times. Two times. Did your application go in this year yet? Yes, no, but I can’t wait to see you on stage when we’re helping for a trifecta. There you go. Yep. Three eagles. What would you would become the premier provider in your market? Not only have you done that? It’s my guess. Yes, yes. You’ve expanded your market to Indiana.

We’re in Kentucky and Indiana 10 rooftops. And very proud of that. We went from my first year 153 families served and we’re just now under 1500 families served good for you. Well, and he lived to see it. So I’m No, I know he was proud.

And what’s the third one have part in revolutionizing the profession? That is a huge that’s like biting off a whole elephant instead of just the toe? This one he didn’t believe you could do? How do you think you’re doing so far?

I don’t think that anybody that is a pioneer for something ever really thinks that they’re a pioneer of something. They do what they know and believe in to be right and just and intentional and thought provoking all of those things. And it’s one foot in front of the other every single day and having this purpose and my drive is revolutionising it is it’s the journey that we’re on is what I think is revolutionizing the the inclusion of female the inclusion of technology, the inclusion of social media, all of these things, create that story in which

add to what is revolutionizing the funeral profession. meeting people where they are before it was the four walls. I mean, I have goosebumps telling this you had to have a funeral experience, you had to go to the funeral home and parlor, you had to go there. Well, now we’re bringing it to you. The pandemic offered that opportunity with with live streaming. And then now it’s all these social media platforms that you know, myself and a few others are really just diving into and saying, Hey, I know you’re on your phone, on your couch eating Doritos. But this is what we’re here doing right now. That’s real. And I really stand behind that. And one day when I’m 80 years old, if I live to be that, that I can be proud of what I’ve what I’ve done, and maybe one day textbooks will be written about me, I don’t know all the things you did to revolutionize. So we’re not done with the show today, because you’re really doing some cool stuff. Some other things that I want our listeners to hear if they haven’t already heard about you. And then there’s this show coming up in August 6 of 2022. Because during the pandemic, you did something very interesting. You went back to what you love to do before you came into funeral service, which was write music and sing. Is that correct? And perform that is perform? Yeah, I was going to be I was going to be the next Justin Bieber. And I know that sounds really funny. That’s part of the story. Because I was on my way we had record labels and people interested in and working with the producers who produced the posthumous Michael Jackson record, this was all really happening, right. And but but at the same time, it was just this standstill, and I was tired of being here, there. And everywhere. I wanted this idea of roots. So actually, when I started the funeral home, I grieved for two years. And I was like you can’t be a successful artist and a successful funeral director. So there was this identity crisis. And that’s that little guy sitting on your shoulder telling you you can’t do you can’t do you can’t do. Absolutely, absolutely. And then I realized during the pandemic, it took 10 years but during the pandemic, as I’m experiencing anxiety, and my mental health is shot, as are a number of our colleagues and people that we’re serving my gosh, we’ve lost so much a will money, a job a family member, just, it was awful. And I look up and I look and I see Billy Allen who’s just this solid. He’s this and for people who are watching, he’s just a steady he’s the constant in our, in our, in our team. And he looked at me and he said I’m just so I’m so tired of my friends dying. And that gets me every time because you know we are we’ve you know, we’re just trying to keep it between the between the lines at this point and I had to get it out somewhere. You know, telehealth although

But I love telehealth. I’m not a telehealth guy. But that’s all that we’re, that’s all that we’re allowed at this time. So I’m just writing, I’m writing write, I write, I write these. I don’t really even know how I sometimes start writing. But they end up becoming a song. And I’m standing at my dresser. And I’m like, I’ll never forget this moment. It was May of last year. And I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I have. I have all the songs. So May of last year, so it may

remember what day but I called my producer, Nathan Walters. And I said, I’ve been writing for over a year. I’m sad, I need to record. And he said, Okay, this is a guy that you knew, like 10 years ago, who was a producer that produced this is the guy that premiere Where is he ever ran Nashville is. He’s in Nashville and Ella, and at the Capitol record studio, he’s also in Nashville. And I wasn’t going to be traveling can’t travel right now. Not just because of COVID. But because I’m a leader in the funeral homes, and I’m not going to fly to LA to record. But what I can do is he remotes in to my computer, nice. We utilize software logic, and I’m set up with his awesome vocal booth. And we start tracking, restart tracking this ultimately, entire record, which was inspired wholly because of COVID. A tragedy. And now we look up, we’re like, oh my gosh, we have all these incredible songs. And then that’s, that’s how all that happened. And then you throw in a few sprinkles, which are the viral Tiktok video, and it just, it just has organically happened. And then you look up 10 years later, and you’re like, Wow, you can be a funeral director, musician, and mortician. So you can’t do it all good for you. And, and so I don’t understand all the digital things that you guys can do with music, my husband is a drummer. And he actually connected with his one of his good buddies, who is one of our guitarist and vocalist in his in one of his band, and they played remotely together, they just needed to play. So I get that he has an electric drum set in every one of his wherever he goes, he’s got it. If he’s not on the drums, he’s not happy. So it’s real, it is real, and so good for you for finding an outlet for that. But let’s talk about that a little bit before we conclude because I want people to hear about your concert coming up, why you’re doing it, and a little bit about your songs. And I went through some of the posts that have been on social media. One of the cool things that’s happening, Nathan, and this is this is kudos to you. People are starting to show young people are showing an interest in funeral service. The sad part of what I’m seeing that I’m reading is that they can’t get a funeral home to give them a break. They can’t even get them to come in the door and say, Hey, let me tell you about funeral service and why it’s a great place to work. On the other side. We can’t find good employees. So we have a little dichotomy going on here that needs to be fixed. And you are giving a message that funeral service is a wonderful profession to be part of. And thank you for doing that. Thank you for revolutionizing our profession by using your music.

I heard one of your songs called the laundry room. And it really touched me. And the reason it touched me was because this young lady had enough of her day. And she posted this on one of your social media platforms doesn’t matter which one, you got a hold of that heard her story and sang about it and wrote it wrote a song about her having to go in the funeral home laundry room, because there was no other place for her to go. To just let it out. And to cry because she just had a day. And during COVID I can’t imagine how many funeral directors in our profession needed that place. about ways we put it quiet, too quiet rooms in with a massage chair and a place you can listen to music, and hopefully they’re listening to yours. If they’re not going to make sure they are a place with a little waterfall just to get away and take a break. So you’re helping funeral service become better. So tell us about your songs. And anything else you want to tell us about your show.

I think that everything we do has to be intentional. I think we have to pull this tough woman or guy mentality in the funeral profession down and say I’m not great. I don’t feel okay. And I’m sad. And this is a young woman that shared this story. And I was like, Oh my gosh, the darkest, most, probably least clean. You know, that’s where you take all your soiled linens and they have to go into the furthest part of the location at serving people and have a moment to themselves because they don’t feel comfortable enough to maybe show that to their colleagues who too have devoted their lives to comfort you’re trying to hold up and be tough. Ah, and so I was like, this has to be this has to be told. And that’s what laundry room is about. We we’ve all

all experienced that and we have all of the songs all of the songs convey a message similar to that the single out now yet is that I’m not ready to go yet moment how many times as directors have we been on the side of the chapel, and the family or arm and arm around the casket of one that love more than anything in this life and it’s the last time they’re gonna see them on this side of it right that the physical site before they’re ushered to the family Lemare cars and it’s not ready to go ready to go. And that song has resonated for so many people. And that’s why I say beautiful songs are birthed through tragedy, because they really are. And you can’t have a beautiful song without it just as you, in my opinion can’t have a beautiful, meaningful celebration without a beautiful song. That’s true. That’s true. And that and that’s how yet that Yeah, your song yet was born. It’s your how all of that happened. And then the caveat all of that the Tick Tock goes viral on February the 24th, or sixth. And then from there, 10s of 1000s are coming and joining the Tick Tock community. And I realized I’m always thinking outside of the box, I always say the proverbial tissue box just to be witty, and that’s good. I love Islanders and the pins, everybody can do that. But we wanted to create a sense of community. So we’ve done it before, where we bring a concert to a community AF CRO and sign one of our locations. We’re just pummeled with death from COVID. And we wanted to create an opportunity for all the community members to come and have a moment of community to have this sense of support and say thank you for trusting us, here’s this opportunity and event to just have an experience that is upon you at a post COVID concert.

Where that’s what my thoughts can be. So that’s how that’s how you’re thinking, this is where we need to go. Oh, yeah. So then I have a mentor that’s been a mentor of mine for 10 years. Now. He says Nathan, you know what? Because I would always share the songs with him. And he’s like, this is a great song. He says, You know what, you should do the concert. I’m like, Thanks, guy. So now here we are, it’s like okay, well, I am going to now perform and share the songs in this story. And the reason why the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is going back to the reason I wrote from the beginning is because I was sad. I was lonely. I had this sense of depression and anxiety. And I know that everyone in some form or fashion, whether they acknowledge it or not, had some form of it. And we serve families because they succumbed to that feeling. And that’s why so 100% of net proceeds from this event will be benefiting the lifeline, which the new phone number is 988 which eases people’s ability, right to get in touch with someone who’s going to be able to assist. And that is why we’re doing it. All of that just wrapped in a beautiful mess. Oh life, but it’s because you’re pulling it off, and it’s August 6, and it’s going to be held. How do they get a hold of your tickets for this? Tell us more Nathan Morris Nathan Morris, they can purchase tickets there, there are still some VIP available, they’re going to receive a tour because of people on Tik Tok saying we want a tour. So they’re gonna get a tour of F Crow, which is a block away from the historic Plaza theater, the day of the sheds wonderful, some awesome swag. These are VIP ticket holders, and then general admission of course, as well. But so general admission is only $20. And your VIP tickets are $100 but all the proceeds go to the National Suicide Hotline lifeline that’s that’s out there. 98 that’s just so wonderful that you’re doing that. And and I and your songs will all be sung and then you have another group called the anthem lights. They’re from your market as well. Around them lights are from our from Nashville songs and you probably don’t even know you’re probably right. They have millions and millions of followers on social media. They’re very, very, very popular group and they will be performing alongside us as well. I saw you reach out on social media to ask everybody who they thought should accompany you.

And this is this is the name that kept coming up the name they were co headlining with us from the get go. There are two names that kept coming up to open the show that kept going over and over and over because we said hey, we’re gonna let somebody open up we’re gonna give you two and if you see somebody local opening up, we have two artists one from Nashville, one from Kentucky nice that goes to school in Virginia. Yes, they’re opening up the show. This is gonna be this incredible evening. We’ve had tons of support from radio, local media TV. It’s it’s wild the response that we’ve gotten not even only from local, but our profession. Our profession is showing up and supporting and it’s really special to see it is you have a lot of sponsors from funeral service. And I’m glad to see they’re getting behind you because this is what is going to revolutionize our profession. And how is how cool to combine it with a tour of the funeral home. What a great idea.

I hope you have lots of tour guides because you, you might have 1000s of people want to go through. Make sure you got lots of lemonade and cookies going. Right or bourbon and beer. That would be good too. That might Yeah. Oh, sell it so you can make some money there, right? That’s very true. Hey, David, this is really great to be with you. I know our listeners probably listen to you all day long. And maybe we’ll have to do this again, post concert. If there’s not a video that concert, I hope somebody takes one. Unfortunately, I’m going to be out of the country and I am just kicking myself, I can’t be there. But I hope all the listeners will go to Nathan Morris And go listen to not just listened to yet, but also sign up for this concert, you can go to on Spotify, and watch you do a video to the song yet. And that was really cool. I’ve been showing it to all my friends and family and sharing it. So thank you for what you’re doing for funeral service. Thank you for sharing here on our podcast, how to grow yourself as a leader. And if you want more information about how to be more successful in funeral service, I bet you if you contact Nathan, after the concert, probably he’ll be there to help you with this. We so appreciate you too. And how do people get a hold of you if they do want to reach out and just say hey, I want to be like you Nathan at Morris family That’s really my email or you can text me 270-456-4028 That is my number. So that is your cell number. Texting is awesome. I do with my kids all the time. So they raised me to text some a good texting mom, right and grandma. So hey, thank you again, Nathan Morris and we’ll talk we’ll hopefully talk again soon and see how your concert goes and go listen to his music everybody. It’s amazing

you are like the company you keep write that down.

You are like the company you keep surround yourself with people who are far better than you. Never stop learning never stop growing. Never stop admitting fault. And not just say I’m sorry or not just say Oops. Be better. Don’t ever lie down and be bitter this profession specifically needs each other. And until I breathe no more, I want to be accepting and receptive to others within this field. And Lisa, thank you for doing that with with me. And teaching me and encouraging me and accepting me. This dumb kid from Kentucky. Be sure to follow me at Nathan Morris music on tick tock Special thanks to each of you who do that because we have created a safe space in place to gather and ask questions and listen to music and podcasts and stories and ideas and suggestions and there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Please know that I know that

my way or the highways not how I think Teach me never stop learning never stop growing anything more is on Instagram at Nathan Morris on Twitter. Nathan Morris online on YouTube and a partridge in a pear tree. Nathan Morse Right now grab me some swag, grab some swag we have a lot of cool things in the works and hold tight. You are Love far more than you could ever know. I appreciate you. Thank you for meeting me right here in this moment. Until next time